Pittsburg State’s Dakota Jones enjoys coming home.
Jones, a Warrensburg native, scored 19 against Central Missouri Wednesday as the Gorillas handed UCM their fifth straight loss 74-72.
Jones said he likes to impress his old high school friends when the Gorillas face Central.
“It’s a big game for me,” Jones said. “I want to play well for my hometown crowd, and show them that I’m trying to make a name for myself somewhere else, too.”
Jones and Trey Starks led Pittsburg State with 19 points each.
Reaves scored a game-high 33 on 9-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc. Jakob Lowrance scored 17 with six rebounds.
Spencer Reaves started the game with a three. Dakota Jones answered.
D’Marnier Cunningham found Marquiez Lawrence on the baseline and made the score 10-7.
Reaves’ third 3-pointer of the half gave the Mules a 6-point lead, their largest of the half.
Jakob Lowrance 6-foot-8, 270 pounds scored 10 points in the post before halftime.
Denton Hays tipped in a PSU miss at the buzzer to tie the game before the half.
Central Missouri opened the second half on a 14-4 run.
Reaves made a three on the Mules’ first possession.
Lowrance found Lawrence who exchanged the pass for points and picked up a foul. On the next possession, Lawrence found Reaves on a near full-court pass. Reaves scored on a layup and made a free-throw to complete the 3-point play.
Lawrence picked up his first foul of the game five minutes into the second half. Josiah Gustafson went 1-for-2 at the line to make the UCM lead 46-38.
Central Missouri and Pittsburg State exchanged the lead throughout the second half.
Pittsburg State reclaimed the lead on a Creighton Brinker layup. Trey Starks made the score 51-48 PSU with a free-throw on the next possession.
Reaves made a three over Jaxon Holden with 7:55 to play to give UCM a 54-53 lead.
A transition 3-pointer from Jones tied the game at 63 with 2:36 to play.
Jones again gave PSU a 2-possession lead after shaking Tereke Eckwood and draining another 3-pointer.
With the Mules trailing by four, Cunningham’s pull up jumper in transition missed. UCM fouled Hays, who made both his free-throws to give PSU a 73-67 lead with 16.7 seconds to play.
Reaves was fouled by Jones with 0.4 seconds to play and made three free-throws. The Gorillas solidified a 74-72 victory when the inbounds pass reached Jones.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2